Tenille Townes and Riley Green are officially the New Female Artist of the Year and New Male Artist of the Year at the 2020 ACM Awards. They’re the first winners to be announced ahead of this year’s show.
Host and reigning Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban surprised both performers with the news, crashing a virtual label meeting with Riley and popping up on the other end of a Zoom call when Tenille signed on expecting to do an interview.
“When do you think you’re gonna be playing a show again next?” Keith drily asked Riley in their call, before springing the news on him that he would be performing at the ACM Awards — as a trophy-winning artist.
“I wish I would’ve got a glass of wine!” Riley replied, stunned into silence by the good news.
While he may have been stoic and speechless, Tenille was all happy tears after Keith told her that she’s a winner this year.
“Are you serious? Oh my gosh. For real?” she gushed. “Wow. Thank you so much.”
This year’s ACM Awards ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in April in Las Vegas, the month and city where it’s been held for the past several years. But in light of escalating concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the show was pushed to September 18, where it will be held in Nashville.
The show will broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry, with additional performances airing from two more historic Music City venues: The Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe.
By Carena Liptak
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